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Customs Payments System Stops

A customs broker has complained that the Federal Customs Service gave too short notice to suspend its payment system used by international majors like LG Electronics and Coca-Cola.

With stunning abruptness, the Federal Customs Service stated Nov. 7 that it would temporarily halt servicing online payments with Green Gate cards, effective the next day. It said the suspension would be indefinite because it had to move computer servers to a new location.

“A notice like that had to have come well in advance,” said Andrei Makogon, deputy chief of the firm Customs Payment System, the Russian broker that operates Green Gate.

By freezing the cards, which allowed payments to be processed within one day, the Federal Customs Service delayed shipments by several days, as companies took time to revert to the more time-

consuming accounting system, he said.

Dmitry Kotikov, a press officer at the Federal Customs Service, said Tuesday that he was unaware when the service would restart. Payments are now typically taking one day longer, he said.

A statement from the broker said more than 200 transnational corporations subscribed to Green Gate cards. Some of them, including LG Electronics and Coca-Cola, experienced delays at customs, according to the statement.

Spokespeople for LG Electronics and Coca-Cola told The Moscow Times that they were unaware of the problem.

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